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‘Devastated’ Kyrgios pulls out of 2023 Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from this year's Australian Open.

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from this year's Australian Open.

The 2023 Australian Open has been dealt another horrific blow with the shock withdrawal of Aussie player Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios broke the news to reporters on Monday afternoon, revealing he was struggling with a growing cyst on his meniscus which was hindering his movement.

The Aussie star said he was “devastated” to not be able to participate in his home slam.

“All I can do now is look forward, do what I need to do and come back”

His physio said the player will return to Canberra in the coming days and  undergo an arthroscopic procedure to address the lump.

Kyrgios said of the injury: “All you can do is open [it] up and get rid of it.”

“We made this decision together, mainly made by me, but we came to this decision together,” Kyrgios said.

Will Maher, Kyrgios’ physiotherapist, said the issue arose over the last fortnight.

He said Kyrgios’ team used his Friday night practice match against Novak Djokovic as a test to see whether he could go ahead.

“It was clear with each passing session he was getting sorer and sorer,” said Mr Maher.

“At this point he wants to feel comfortable he could go the distance with seven matches.”

Kyrgios had intended to commence his 2023 Australian Open campaign tomorrow night against Roman Safiullin.

Lucky loser Denis Kudla will now take Kyrgios’ place in the draw.

Kyrgios was also scheduled to team up with fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis to defend their doubles title.

Kyrgios is the latest in a long string of stars to announce they would not be participating in this year’s Open.

Days ago, Australia’s top women’s singles player Ajla Tomljanovic announced her withdrawal, also citing injury.

Tomljanovic was being heralded as the women’s star to succeed the now-retired Ash Barty and keep Australia’s women’s singles hopes alive.

Spain’s Paula Badosa has also pulled out from the tournament, as has former champ Naomi Osaka, who recently announced she was pregnant with her first child.

Nadal’s uphill battle

Reining Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal is struggling to gain momentum in his tough round one battle against rising British player Jack Draper.

Nadal, the top-seeded player at this year’s tournament, managed to snare the first set 7-5.

But the Spaniard now trails 1-5 in the second set, with fears that the reining champ won’t make it to the second round of the tournament.

The Spaniard is well known for his detailed pre-match rituals.

He always brings one racket onto the court with him, and carries five in his bag, swapping them over in a planned rotation.

However, Nadal has now been forced to dip into his stash of rackets earlier, perhaps threatening to throw him off his game.

Nadal told officials in the first set that one of his rackets had mysteriously gone missing.

He attempted to locate the racket, but with no success, with the star’s meticulous racket rotation now thrown out of whack.

The 2022 champion admitted after the draw that he was in for a tough contest against Draper, who is ranked 40th in the world.

“Probably one of the toughest first rounds possible … young, powerful, growing very, very fast in the rankings, playing well,” Nadal said of Draper.

“A big challenge for me at the beginning to start the tournament. Let’s see. I’m here to just give myself a chance. I know he’s playing well.”

Nadal is hungry for a win after a less-than-ideal to the 2023 season.

The 22-time grand slam champion left red-faced after two shock losses at the United Cup.

He fell to young Brit Cam Norrie at 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and proceeded to take a thumping from Aussie Alex de Minaur at 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.

But Nadal defended his performance, citing tough competition.

“I didn’t play that bad the first two matches the year,” he said.

“I lost against two great opponents, but having very positive chances to win both matches. I already have been here for three weeks, practising every day with that conditions, with the best players. That helps a lot in general terms.”

 

Topics: Nick Kyrgios
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